We’ve all been there. That place where you believe in someone or something, and thrust your total being into that space trying to make it work—only to realize that it won’t. You give it your all. You give it your best. You take risks. You even compromise a little or a lot of yourself in the process. And yet, rejection is your reward.
Though painful, rejection is not the worse thing that can happen to you. It’s a closed door that provides you with the opportunity to pause, start over, or redirect your steps. In fact, rejection yields more positive outcomes than negative ones, if dealt with constructively. It can build character, resilience, and spiritual fortitude.For me, rejection has forced me to face myself in the mirror, to ask myself “what happened” and what I could have done differently, and to accept that I have opportunities to learn and grow.
Acceptance is the willingness to receive and endure the truth about a situation, oneself and others. Self-acceptance is critical to effective leadership. Accepting the truth about yourself is not always pretty. But, it does foster a sense of mental clarity and sobriety, so that you can process your reality and take that courageous next step towards repair, recovery and/or restoration.
So, I’ll share first. In my experiences with rejection, I have accepted these unflattering truths about myself:
- I accept that I have a need for constant affirmation, probably due to my childhood experiences of not having a loving and emotionally available paternal figure in the home. As a result, I either sometimes resist authority or try too hard to win approval from others. My response has been to seek counseling to identify my own flaws and areas of unresolved woundedness. I also believe in the power of prayer and in affirming myself regularly that I am good, valuable, worthy and enough.
- I accept that I am quirky, expressive, opinionated, direct, complicated, and sometimes cocky. I correct more than I connect, which has sometimes resulted in a wake of broken relationships both personally and professionally. Though still a work in progress, my response has been to listen more, acknowledge the value in others, and not argue to be “right” all the time. Having an executive coach, mentor and other trusted advisors to point out these blind spots have been invaluable to my growth and development.
What about you? What do you accept as your reality, result and response?
QUESTIONS TO PONDER:
- What have been some of your experiences with rejection? How have those experiences shaped you?
- What are some realities you accept about yourself? Write them down. What was the result and your response to resolve/restore your situation?
- How has rejection in one area led to other opportunities for you?
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